I got a text from my brother back in late spring that said something like "How hard do you think it would be for you to get an outdoor weekend planned for you and Mo (and Colbie)?" I think my reply was something like "uuuuuu..NOT HARD." Basically Clay had a sneaky suspicion his wife (Mother to 5 sweet girls) might enjoy a few days away and he figured I wouldn't be too sad to break away from my gang either. Their whole family wasn't going to get to come to Montana this summer, so he sent 2 representatives to enjoy the Big Sky Country!! I mentioned it to Kory and it was the quickest "YES" of any weekend I've ever asked him about! Yay! Me and Maurine kept texting each other saying, "is this really happening??!" It was fast and sort of random, but it was heavenly, hilarious, fun, funny, soul healing, beautiful, restful, tiring, exciting, challenging, relaxing, encouraging, and memorable! I'm usually a big group kind of person. The more the merrier is the way I usually approach things. So this was different from any other "get away" weekend I'd ever done and it was so wonderful. I credit Mo for teaching me that sometimes less is more.......in my closets and on a weekend getaway. Ha!
This adorable little sugar baby got to come along for the ride. I picked them up at the airport at almost midnight Thursday night and as soon as we got to the hotel I snuggled up with her and she fell right asleep in her Aunt P's arms while me and Mo wasted no time getting lots of words out!
Friday morning we got up and ran a few errands in Bozeman, ate lunch with my sis in law Syndi that lives there, and then went to find our cabin. It was the perfect place for us. Great location, perfect size, and a nice cozy, cabin feel.
Home Sweet Home!
We found a shorter hike that afternoon/evening and enjoyed a nice stroll through some beautiful scenery. There was no shortage of that! (as you'll see in the picture overload here).
Mo and Colbie Marie.
This hike had some cool bridges that crossed over the creek several times.
We discussed a lot of things along the way, solved all the world's problems, and decided we are too old for selfies. We just couldn't quite figure out the angles. We would take several and then just eventually give up. Oh well. We're just lame old moms, I guess.
Every now and then I'd get reports from home. Q, from inside the swather, letting me know they were cutting hay (looks like Kanyon was along for the ride in the Buddy Seat). Haying started a couple of weeks early this year, so I felt really guilty leaving the kids with Kory when they were up to their ears in haying. But they all did ok, generously giving me the time I desperately needed.
Sweet little baby chubs needed a sink bath after her day of hiking!
I got an S.O.S call regarding a certain little girl and some trouble she encountered when she got a little too close to the motorized car wheels. Daddy came to the rescue and got it out of her hair with minor hair loss. Sheesh! So this was the confirmation picture I got letting me know that they didn't have to cut a chunk out of the front of her head.
Saturday was the day we'd been planning the most for. One of Clay's "requirements" was that we had to do something challenging. Its fun to push yourself and see what you can do, and then enjoy the feeling when you do a little more than you thought you could! So we picked out a long hike that we wanted to go for. We both came in SIGNIFICANTLY out of shape, and quite run down. Not to mention we were carrying a 6 month old baby. So here we are at the start of our hike all pumped up and ready to go.
It was gorgeous!
Running water never gets old! It was breathtaking the whole day as we criss-crossed back and forth over the water.
It was also COLD when I stepped in it, but I was so proud I had sandals on and didn't have to worry about keeping my shoes/socks dry. I was a genius. Or so I thought.....to be continued.
My next report was the battle wounds from her fight with the bleachers at her brothers' T-ball game.
Later on, I got this one. I guess she was reminding me she was 2. But mostly she was feeling so proud to be riding with Daddy in the tractor while he baled.
Back to the trail......us 3 girls at a pretty spot on the creek.
We crossed more cool bridges on this trail too.
Can I just say that this girl was a TROOPER. She hiked for 7 1/2 hours and never cried one time. We stopped and Mo fed her twice and the rest of the time she was perched in the carrier enjoying the view or snoozing. She was a total rock star. We've got a future mountain woman on our hands!
On our way up, we passed some people who were on their way down. They "warned" us about some sketchy water crossings. They said there were 3, but when we got to them, the first 2 weren't bad at all, so we weren't worried. This was the 3rd one. It wasn't THAT bad (the pictures probably make it look steeper and scarier that it really was) but we agreed that if had been the first we might have thought twice about crossing 3 of these with a baby in tow. But since we were so close to the end there was no stopping us!!!
In this picture I'm truly dying laughing. I was trying to stay uphill without splashing Colbie or falling down! I think I also apologized to Mo for the way it happened that I was carrying her child during the "treacherous" stretch of the trail. Oh well. We all did just fine.
A beautiful view of Hyalite Canyon.
This was the last stretch of the trail that zig zagged up the last section of the mountain. It was here that I thought, "I think my sandals are rubbing a blister."
We made it to the lake!!!!! This was our goal, and we decided that when we don't have a baby with us we'll climb the next 2,000 feet to Hyalite Peak!
On the way back...just one more documentation of the less than ideal water crossing. By this time I have confirmed that my Chacos are, in fact, rubbing a blister, I have no bandaids, and we still have 6 more miles to go down.
What I thought was so smart...."wear Chacos so you don't have to worry about keeping boots and socks dry" was really a horribly flawed plan. I didn't take in to account the fact that my straps were loose, my feet would swell, the straps would get wet, and all of that was the perfect recipe for those dang sandals to shred my feet. So on the way down, I'm watching my feet bleed, but my spirits are high. We did it, we made it, and now we were pushing ourselves to get down in a certain amount of time. My black, mixed with read blood, mutilated feet were finally seeing the end of the trail when Maurine hand an unfortunate run in with the pavement thanks to a truly horrible boot malfunction. But thankfully, her motherly instincts kicked in and she rolled to the side and saved the baby from a face plant, but ended up with major road rash on her knee. All of the was about 10 yards from the end. So we made it to the sign where we started about 7 1/2 hours earlier. Bloody knees full of rock chunks, bloody feet, and sore muscles, but we had a BLAST. We were laughing so hard we could barely walk by the time we got to the car! We might've lost some cool points, but it was awesome.
What wasn't awesome was the way we would feel when we got back to town. We did all that walking (on cold, out of shape mom bodies) and then sat totally still in the car for 20 minutes back in to town. We could barely move. Mo spared me having to put my sandals back on and took one for the team as she hobbled in to CVS and got me some band aids. We got some yummy pizza to go, headed back to the cabin and laughed our heads off at how sore we were and how disgusting my feet were. And how we had a full day ahead of us tomorrow and the only shoes I had were my Chacos!! Haha! We felt good about meeting our challenge and learning a few lessons along the way. Like don't hike in sandals, bring band aids, and make sure your boot lace isn't big enough to catch on the other boots' hook.
This was another report from home: I think the boys were cutting hay till 11:00 one night.
The next morning I was all bandaged up and ready for another day on the trails!
We drove up to the Big Sky ski area to do one of the hikes there and enjoyed it so much! We were excited to see these Big Horn Sheep on the side of the road on the way up.
Its always fun to see a ski place in the winter, then in the full blown summer greens and blues.
We hiked Beehive Basin and it was gorgeous. A totally different type of hike and views than the days we spent in Hyalite. But we really loved it. This day was my birthday, so it as a great way to begin another year!
This trail went in and out of open meadows with this creek flowing through most of it. We were in total awe the whole time. Each new meadow was breathtaking!
This was a beautiful hike and a great way to spend our last day!
We'd been craving burgers and fries all weekend so we finished the night off with that and then headed home to get our sweet baby hiker in the bed at a decent time. But not before we played with the GIANT dandelions! I love these things. I am probably annoying about how I act about a weed, but I just get such a kick out of seeing these huge ones!
Meanwhile back home, my crew was cooling off in the creek with Daddy and Uncle Tye.
I dropped the 2 gals off at the airport and then went to church with Clint and Syndi in Bozeman then hit the road home. I got home just in time to flag the swather down the highway.
Weekends like that are fulfilling to every single part of me. It was such an unexpected treat and couldn't have been better. Amen.